By George Ojema
His body feels hot despite the obvious cold and for an unexplained reason his hand is folded into a fist.
“I think she said no”
The teenage hoodlum wheels about and the whites of their eyes meet.
“Who the hell are you?”
“Just let her go”
The teen turns his back and returns to his assault on the young lady. She tries to wrestle free but his grip is obviously too tight. All the while he watches helplessly, feeling Sheila’s anxious eyes fixed on the back of his head. Then the unbelievable happens.
The young lady falls to the ground as the unmistakable sound of a hot slap resonates through the night air. Barely has the yelp escaped her mouth than the aggressor bends down and picks her by the hair. Some profanities spew out of his mouth as he attempts to drag her back into the house. Her will is broken and she staggers to her feet, the only sign of life is her whimpering verbal protest to the lead that is her hair and the force exerted to provide direction. But the teen is unrelenting in his abuse.
“Move,” the thug bellows but he does not shift, his feet have become rooted to the spot at the beast-like behavior. His fist has remained folded, tension mounting in the ball of bone, blood and muscle but his restraint allows gravity to hold the machine in place. A gentleman first brawls with his words, then his resolve and finally his fists.
The young lady finds pause to stand, or at least lurch forward since her hair remains in her tormentors’ possession. The fashionable high heels become a cumbersome burden but she dare not disrobe of them. Her inaudibly whispered protest fades into the background of this slow brewing moment.
The young teen puffs his chest out and squares up, trying to look down his nose at the roadblock between him and his sadistic pleasure. But in those entitled eyes one can see quick flashes of fear. He’s not really cut out for this fight and he knows it. “Move it,” he repeats and this time it feels as though the whole world can hear him. The amplification boosts his ego and the fear in his eyes fades away. A stupid idea is planted.
“I think she said no.”
“So let her go.”
“She said no. Just let her go, alright?”
“I’m not listening to you!”
“How old are you?”
“Listen, get out of my way.”
“I asked you a question. How old are you?”
“Shut up and move. I want her so I’m going to have her, now move!”
“Does she want you?”
“What the …. Who cares?”
In a flash he hits the thug in the side of the head. The force throws the teenager off balance and against the car. The agitated siren breaks the night calm as a cacophony of catastrophic symphonies dance into the darkness. The young lady, not having expected the deft blow, falls to the pavement. Sheila rushes from the shadows and helps her away from the scene.
“No means no. Now get out of here.”
“What the hell? Do you know who you’re messing with?”
“No matter who you are, I just stopped you from doing something stupid. Go home kid.”
He turns and looks to Sheila and the young lady. It dawns on him that the quiet confrontation has gained an audience. The young bodies that had been inside enjoying the party are now pouring out of the house, attracted by the wailing alarm from the car.
Sheila has her arms wrapped around the young girl in a protective cocoon, an almost instant motherly instinct in all women. He nods lightly in their direction before a heavy object hits him on the back of the head.
He staggers forward, confused. He turns his head to find out what it was but only just misses a boot to the face. The hoodlum, feeling robed of his prize is fighting back. A choir of voices mobs in from the house but they all stop short as the thug turns to confront them. It is evident there is a hierarchy of fear and he sits very close if not at the top of it.
He stands, the pain at the back of his head still dizzying but he can see straight. The time has come to meet force with force. A gentleman can always defend himself.
The inexperienced teen approaches, fists already up, fire in his eyes. The thug swings a good right hook but fails to connect; his opponent is too fast on his feet.
“Go home. You don’t want to do this.”
Another right hook fails to connect. Inexperience displays its bravado in an all-out attack; wisdom waits for the perfect strike.
A left-right combo is dodged by a quick side step.
“Go home and stop embarrassing yourself”
He has given enough warnings. If the young fool wishes to rumble, let him rumble. A quick right punch is dodged by a side-step and he responds with a heavy left hook that connects. As the young fool stumbles back, he pistons blow after blow to the body, slow but sure, walking him back into an astounded audience. He can feel the crunch in his knuckles every time the punch connects but by then it’s too late to stop the next loaded fist as it cuts through the tight space between the two bodies.
After what seems like an eternity he stops and steps back, his biceps spent and the young thug barely catching his breath. Simon has run out.
They obey him, a healthy fear of his wrath instilled in them. Simon is still confused. “What happened?”
“He was trying to rape her,” Sheila answers.
“Let’s get inside. I’ll tell you all about it”
Sheila helps the young lady into the house and he follows. They go into the kitchen and Sheila sets about tending their wounds. Simon can be heard from the living room shouting at the young party bodies.
Amidst grumbling they leave. All except Ciru, Simon’s niece. Still intoxicated, she blunders her way into the kitchen and shouts, “What happened? Are you alright?”
Simon, evidently livid by the turn of events, enters and stands by the sink.
“I can’t believe this! Is she alright?”
“He hit her a little but I don’t think anything else happened.”
“He raped me.”
They all stare at her, gob smacked.